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Racine Family Law Blog

Wisconsin non-profit provides collaborative divorce to the needy

Wisconsin couples may be aware of the legal divorce option called collaborative divorce that enables married couples to split up without going through elaborate court proceedings. Now, a new non-profit group is working to provide low-income Wisconsin residents the same opportunity to use this type of divorce process. What's more, they can avail the service without burning a big hole in their savings.

The organization, known as the Collaborative Foundation of Wisconsin, brings the advantages of collaborative divorce to low-income residents. A founding member said initially she was quite skeptical about collaborative divorce. However, now she has a lot of faith in a couple parting ways mutually and she is touting the benefits of collaborative divorce to low-income groups who cannot afford high legal fees.

Introduction to child custody in Wisconsin - Part II

Child custody is often a major concern among divorcing couples in Wisconsin. Generally, courts assume that children are happiest when they have a good relationship with both parents. The parent who has custody will make all routine decisions, such as a child's extra-curricular activities, his or her bed time, diet and social activities. Children are always at their best when the parents agree on the child's rules, even when the parents are no longer together.

Considering the best interests of the child, parents should not engage in child custody battles. Both parents need to discuss parenting time and get the agreement approved by the court. Parents may work with family counselors to ensure that the plan is in the best interest of the child. The court usually gives the seal of approval to any agreement that is mutual and is reasonable.

How do you obtain alimony in Racine County, Wisconsin?

Divorce can be a complex issue. There are many factors involved in a divorce; alimony is just one of them. Many divorces in Wisconsin involve payment of alimony. Also referred to as family support, alimony is different from child support. It is also known as maintenance and involves a group of payments made by a spouse to another. This maintenance payment may be made in addition to child support payments.

Alimony is tax deductible and the person who receives the payment has to report it as taxable income. Additionally, if a person gives up his or her right to maintenance, that person is not eligible to return to court to seek alimony again. If the divorcing couple is unable to come to an agreement about the amount or duration of alimony payments, the court will decide on behalf of the couple.

Introduction to child custody in Wisconsin - Part I

Racine, Wisconsin, parents will agree that child custody is often a major concern for those couples who want to divorce. Parents who want the best for their children are sometimes unable to agree on child custody and visitation rights. Fathers today are more hands-on and want to play a more prominent role in the upbringing of their children, so disagreement on parenting time may ensue.

But how is child custody determined in Wisconsin? What are the rights of each parent? A marriage may be irrevocably broken, but does not mean that a parent's relationship with his or her children will come to an end. An agreement about child custody must be reached.

How do child support agencies enforce an order Wisconsin?

Many custodial parents and their children who live in Wisconsin are recipients of child support. The money received takes care of the educational, medical and every day expenses of a child. Therefore, in order to preserve the best interests of the child, child support agencies in the state put forth their best efforts to ensure that all child support orders issued by the court are strictly enforced.

Local child support agencies in Wisconsin monitor all child support cases in order to ensure that non-custodial parents comply with court orders. In case of delinquencies, the agency is empowered to take action against that individual. It is important to understand that cases for collecting back child support can be filed as late as 20 years after the youngest child mentioned in the child support order reaches the age of 18 years.

The discovery process during property division

Wisconsin couples know that divorce brings in its wake not only emotional turbulence, but also financial upheavals. As soon as the divorcing spouses file the divorce papers, the court will ask for information related to their financial, economic and personal situations. They will need to reveal their assets and related financial information, including property, income and debt. This exchange is known as the "discovery" process.

This exchange of information between the court, individuals and their attorneys is the starting point of property division. The court also will make decisions about alimony and child support, in the event tha thte parties do not agree. This discovery process can also take place through informal exchanges of information by the divorcing couples and their attorneys.

Divorces are difficult but planning can help

Love and the glorious prospects of a happy life often influence people, young and old, to tie the knot. However, after marriage, many people realize that their decision to get married may not have been the correct one. The reasons behind this are innumerable and, therefore, many couples in Wisconsin and elsewhere file for divorce. At this stage, couples usually face a number of unique emotional and financial challenges. The challenges are even more complicated if the marriage was long and if the couple has children.

Many Wisconsin couples who have gone through a divorce would agree that, at the time of separation, bitterness between spouses can often make the divorce process very difficult. Issues such as property division and alimony are some areas that are often highly contested. Again, if the couple has children, then in addition to monetary matters, child custody and the child support arrangements are also a major point of concern for separating couples.

Alimony laws draw criticism in the wake of Robin Williams's death

The current divorce rate in the United States is quite startling. Reportedly, as many as half of all marriages end in divorce. Those statistics seem to indicate that it is impossible to claim that divorce is uncommon is Wisconsin or any state, for that matter. The end of a marriage can trigger a wave of implications, including financial as well as personal. Child support, custody and property division seem to be among the most frequently addressed subjects. Alimony or spousal support can also form an integral part of a divorce proceeding and may lead to much controversy.

Alimony and a call for reformation of laws relating to it have currently been brought into the spotlight by journalists and media figures after, oddly enough, the controversy surrounding the death of actor Robin Williams. A prominent columnist with a leading daily newspaper recently commented that the millions Williams had to pay in alimony to his multiple ex-wives may have been a contributing factor to his tragic suicide.

What does a Wisconsin parent need to know about child custody?

Child Custody addresses the physical possession of a child, where that child will live and appoints the primary decision-making legal guardian for a child. It is the presumption of Wisconsin law that joint legal custody is the best option when it comes to the interests of a child affected by divorce. Joint legal custody is the default option for courts unless it is found that legal custody awarded to a particular parent would be detrimental to the child.

When awarding joint custody, a court may identify the kinds of decisions it considers to be important or major decisions. The court may segregate responsibilities between parents and assign each separate duties of child care. Parents may also be asked to mutually agree on all decisions they make about their child's upbringing.

How is child support determined in Wisconsin?

The end of a marriage may carry with it many consequences. Emotions are often on edge and it is usually a difficult time for everyone involved. In Wisconsin, the social implications and the financial impact of a divorce can have far-reaching effects as well. Property division and spousal support may be among the major matters of concern in a divorce proceeding, but for couples with children, seeking a divorce can bring the additional legal complications posed by child custody and child support issues.

Generally speaking, child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent who has physical custody of the child and the amount is determined by what is in the best interests of the child. The support must generally be sufficient to take care of the child's medical needs and every day expenses.

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